The Dakota Access Pipeline is already leaking

Article written by Melissa Locker and published on FastCompany the 11th of May 2017

The Dakota Access pipeline inspired huge demonstrations in 2016. Photograph: Josh Morgan/Reuters


The embattled Dakota Access Pipeline is already spilling oil, giving credence to fears among Native Americans that the pipeline could jeopardize their land and water supply. The spill took place at a South Dakota pumping site in early April, but was only uncovered this week by a local South Dakota reporter. The spill was relatively small—just 84 gallons—and was cleaned up quickly. While 84 gallons isn’t a lot compared to the millions of gallons expected to run through the 1,172-mile pipeline, would you like it in your drinking water?

“They keep telling everybody that it is state of the art, that leaks won’t happen, that nothing can go wrong,” Jan Hasselman, a lawyer for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, told The Guardian. “It’s always been false. They haven’t even turned the thing on and it’s shown to be false.”

Construction of the pipeline was halted by the Obama administration over environmental concerns, but after President Trump took office, he revived the pipeline despite loud protests. Trump has close financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners, the company overseeing construction of the controversial Dakota Access. He sold his stake in the company in December 2016, before taking office.


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